Blair Thurman

Exquisite Course (Original)*, 2019

Acrylic on wood on mirrored plexiglass on wood

84.5 x 38 x 3 in
(214.6 x 121.9 x 7.6 cm)

“Exquisite Course (Original) is special work because it dates back to - and represents - the period when I began working with slot-track as a formal basis for painting (circa 1994).

The panel is built on top of one of my Dad’s old painting stretchers and takes the proportions of his series of work Parentheses from 1963. This was done to emphasize the personal content and to establish “ownership” of the idea – kind of an obsession for me in those days but no less relevant today. Since the mid-80s I had been working on the idea for a “new” form of painting - a “less than“ painting - simple rectangles, which would lead one to another as a kind of scan. I came to realize that elements of slot-track, i.e.:
straightaways, right turns, banked curves, - were the most functional and elegant iterations of this formal idea– and this conclusion offered me a kind of “permission to paint“ which I still use today.

This work was originally assembled in 1994 with actual plastic track from a slot car set and later replaced with art materials - wood; canvas; paint. I suppose the significance of the mirror was to add an element of landscape- i.e. the reflection of whatever room the work would hang in, plus or minus the viewer and perhaps a kind of abstract sky or lake. I selected this work for Galería Mascota because it tells a story - but also for
the gold - which I associate as a Mexico´s “color” or material. It was a great pleasure to bring this work to Mexico City where it seems to be very much at home.”

-Blair Thurman